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Ocarina of Time Is It Really the Best Zelda Game Ever?


Apr 22, 2011
This thread is about as subjective as something can get..
Not everyone get's satisfied by the same thing.. Some people may have thought OoT to be the worst game ver made..Just because they didn't have fun playing it.

But overall by experts It's considered ONE of the greatest games of all time..
Because it's gameplay and story lasts forever.. You could pretty much delete OoT from everyones ,inds and re-releases it tomorrow with the same graphics and people would still love it..most of them at least.
Jul 3, 2011
Gelato Beach
Forlong said:
Even going by that, you are completely wrong. You obviously never played any games released before OoT, or you would know that it didn't present anything new. "Super Mario 64", "Final Fantasy VII", and "Doom" had the elements you described, just not to the extent of OoT (well, FF7 did). OoT did nothing new, it did what was done before better. There is a distinct difference there. What makes it a great game is how ahead of it's time it was. Hey, the problems I pointed out could have been easily solved, if not for the limitations of N64.
You're still taking things too literal. It doesn't matter what other games were made before it to make it worse or better.
Forlong said:
"Adventure of Link" was re-released three times, so is it better than "Wind Waker" as well? The games were remade because they were popular and because the new generation wanted a chance to play them. The number of releases OoT had do not make it better than any other game.
That's just a fact to support my opinion.
Aug 1, 2011
Kalamazoo, MI
You don't seem to get it. Those weren't remakes, those were all ports. OoT was actually been redone than any other Zelda. So yeah, it does matter.
Bullpies! "Release" means to set out of exhibition. "Re" is a prefix to indicate starting again. So a "re-release" is when something is released again, regardless on if it's improved or not. The fact still stands that you can play "Adventure of Link" on four different consoles. This was made possible by Nintendo, so they obviously see it as a worth-while investment to release it over and over unchanged. Yet somehow, Nintendo constantly feeling that "Ocarina of Time" is in need of improvement shows how it's the best of the entire lot. Yeah,...sure...

I suppose you think FF7 is the worst Final Fantasy game because Square won't re-release it.

Master Quest and improved graphics give me the impression that Nintendo actually would have liked to do more with OoT, but couldn't because of the N64's limitations. Why else do you think that expansion pack was released the next year?

Big Octo

Jul 2, 2011
I didn't say release, I said remade! You're still not getting the difference between remakes and ports! I'm nearly over this thread, it shouldn't be very questionable as to why it's the best title.


Mad haters lmao
May 26, 2010
Hylian Champion
OoT had a lot going for it back when the N64DD was in production. Zelda Gaiden (Majora's Mask) and Ura Zelda (Master Quest) are two things that the development teams were going to make, and they used Ocarina of Time as a template for both. Ura Zelda is the whole reason why Master Quest exists. Even without MQ and better graphics (from OoT3D), OoT is still the highest rated Zelda game and highest rated game of all time (Guinness World Records tells me so). People won't slap a 10 on a game just because of it's title. Go look at Starcraft 2 - Game Informer gave it a 10/10 simply because of how amazing it is. Every did that and is still doing that today with Ocarina of Time (3D as well).

Yes, there were a lot of things that they couldn't do with N64 OoT. But does that mean that the game is bad? Apparently not.


Resident Netizen
May 10, 2010
Random house in Texas.
Ocarina of time is possibly THE most overblown Zelda game in existence. People seem to think, for example, that Ocarina of time was the game that has most influenced Zelda to date, when if you were to take the entire plot (and playing style, too) of ALttP, you would get the same thing, but with less dungeons and a much easier time. However, most of its characteristics gave it the right to be called "Best Zelda Game ever!" The storyline was one of the best that I have ever seen from a video game, the graphics (for that time) were absolutely amazing, IT WAS THE FIRST GAME EVER TO GET A 40/40 FROM THE JAPANESE GAMING MAGAZINE FAMITSU, and it introduced some of the concepts that we expect to see in future games, such as the concept of Fire, Ice, and Light Arrows, an upgradeable spin attack, a mystical musical instrument that has tremendous plot significance (not like the whistle and flute of TLoZ and ALttP. Oh, and the ocarina of LA wasn't mystical. You just knew a mystical song on it), large dungeons with detailed interiors that include large floors that are part of one giant room (e.g. the room with the hammer-able pillar in the Fire Temple, where you sent it flying into the boss' antechamber), and of course, TIMELINE CONFUSION AND PARADOXES!!!!!


Hero of…. #s, I guess
Mar 22, 2011
The Case For The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time as the Greatest Zelda Game

I am of the opinion that Ocarina of Time is the greatest Zelda game, and perhaps very close to the greatest of all games, of all time.

Ocarina of Time had a masterful story, terrific gameplay, a superb over world, and just an overall feel of adventure and perfection that was not matched before it, and has not been matched since in a Zelda game.

Point 1: Story

Some may accuse Ocarina of Time of having a flat story with uninteresting characters or something of the sort. I would have to respectfully disagree with those people.

The game began in the Kokiri Forest, where Link's best friend Saria is waiting to see him. She congratulates him on finally getting a fairy, something that all the other children had but him. Immediately, Navi tells him that he must see the Deku Tree. When he attempts to go, a boy named Mido blocks his path. He is obviously jealous of the attention Link gets from Saria. And already, not five minutes into the game, we have interesting characterization.

And you immediately know that you're something special, too. Come on, you basically just waltz in and take the sacred blade of the Kokiri! Basically, Link is being portrayed as a character Mido is jealous of, and he is basically this totally awesome kid.

Now, you have this old wise tree that basically wants you, a kid, to save it. So of course you do that, but then it reveals that it is dying. Don't tell me Ocarina of Time had a bad plot when you realize that one dungeon in we have an interesting competitor who is secretly jealous of you, AND a guardian tree that you just witnessed die. Not to mention the fact that Mido basically blames you for killing the Deku Tree when you get back to the forest.

As the story goes on, we continue to meet interesting characters, and, for the first time to any major extent in a Zelda game, races. We aid the Goron tribe, whose patriarch makes you his sworn brother. Where, in any other Zelda game, do you basically waltz into a cavern, BOMB SOME DODONGOS ;) , then basically enter a ceremonial bond with the patriarch in one day. And we are just 2 dungeons in!

We have the interesting drama of Ruto with her "Zora's engagement ring," and then we're off to see Zelda, the girl who I haven't even MENTIONED yet, that saw you in a dream. Where have we seen anything as cool as that in any Zelda game? She saw you in a dream, carrying the Spiritual Stone! And also, in something that hasn't ever seen before in any game in the series, we basically have two young children plotting to save the world. And you plan to say that Ocarina of Time doesn't have an interesting story?

As we go through the second half of our quest, awakening sages, from the epic tale of freeing the Gorons from an ancient terror returned to life, to entering a psychedelic temple essentially built to violence, we see interesting stories, people and events going on.

Then there is Sheik, who, in addition to having an amazing theme song and great method from exiting a room, is someone we FIND OUT IS THE PRINCESS THAT SENT US ON THIS JOURNEY IN THE FIRST PLACE! Granted, Super Smash Bros. Melee kinda ruined that reveal for me, but still, it was pretty neat when she explained our one hope, that Ganon did not have the full Triforce.

My point is that all that I listed above and more are characters and story elements that are seen in Ocarina of Time and are inventive to a level that hasn't been seen since. Sure, Majora's Mask or Wind Waker may have interesting characters, but they don't have their relationship to Link being this interesting and certainly none of them create the same sense of adventure.

Point 2: Gameplay

Now, some might argue that Ocarina of Time's gameplay has been dated, and they may be right when we are simply discussing "A button is this, C buttons are this, Z button is this," but when we discuss the gameplay on a deeper level, I see Ocarina of Time as a game rivaled only by Majora's Mask in this aspect of the game.

First, the overall gameplay. We have the same Field -> City -> Dungeon format that appears in most Zelda games, but everything seems to be done perfectly. The field doesn't seem too empty like that of Twilight Princess, but it also isn't too cramped and small. It is just large enough that it is significantly quick to transverse with Epona, but it is not so far that it would be tedious to skip that optional part of the game (imagine Twilight Princess without Epona). Plus, the field is not too empty, with some Peahats to the southeast, and LonLon Ranch near the center, plus Zora's River running down the northeast, around the castle in the north, and through Gerudo Valley in the west to the beautiful Lake Hylia in the south. You can always go somewhere to progress in the story, but there's also never a lack of things to do if you're bored. You can play either shooting game, or head over to the Bombchu Bowling Alley in Castle Town.

Plus, there is the key aspect to the game that truly put Ocarina of Time's gameplay into a whole new level. It was like the Light World/Dark World mechanic on steroids. I speak, of course, of the ability to time travel between child and adult time. The worlds differed greatly, allowing you to feel the change effected by Ganondorf, and there are also tasks you could only complete in a certain time. Perhaps the most fun thing to do would be to go to the Spirit Temple as an adult, then have to return as a child in order to gain access to the other half to the temple, to which you would have to return as an adult.

Let us next take a quick look at items. I don't think that it is easy to argue against the fact that Ocarina of Time had the best items in the series. This was probably aided by the time travel mechanic, as you had your "child items," "adult items," and items that could be used in both times. The slingshot was fun to use as a child, and it just got better when you were upgraded to the bow as an adult. The boomerang was probably the most underrated item in the game, it was quite fun to use in Inside Jabu-Jabu's Belly. Then, of course, we had the hookshot, which, while having appeared previously in the series, fully cemented the exploration factor of the Zelda series into 3D. While it was surpassed by the Double Clawshot in Twilight Princess, it was still fun to use to find secrets. The Mirror Shield was a fun item to get near the end of the game, as it enabled the very creative Twinrova boss fight, which utilized a concept that has not been seen again in a Zelda game. The Lens of Truth was fun to use while looking for mysteries that couldn't be seen with the naked eye, and was not-so-much improved upon by Twilight Princess's Wolf senses. Then there was the optional Biggoron's Sword sidequest which brought a fantastic sword with a drawback: No more shield. The Hover Boots were also fun to play around with, and have not made a return. The Mask of Truth was a nice bonus with the Mask Salesman sidequest, plus it gave interesting tidbits by allowing Link to speak to Gossip Stones. Many of these fun, creative, and intriguing items have only been used in Ocarina of Time and some in Majora's Mask, and then never used again, replaced with far less innovative ones. Which would you rather have, the Hover Boots or the Dominion Rod? The Lens of Truth or the Deku Leaf? I thought so. Of course, there were some bland items, like the Deku Sticks which were used only a handful of times and were mostly just annoying, the Megaton Hammer, which was a bit of fun to use, but was rarely used outside of the Fire Temple (though if you skipped the Biggoron Sword, it came in hand in the final battle), or the infamous Deku Nuts, possibly the most worthless item ever… Wait, now that I think of the Horse Call in Twilight Princess and the idea to have TWO grappling items in Wind Waker, I retract that statement, but still, they were pretty worthless, though admittedly a cool concept.

Point 3: Other Games Just Don't Stack Up

Let me make this clear: I do not believe that Ocarina of Time is invincible. I do not believe that it will always be the best Zelda game. In fact, I hope Skyward Sword DOES top it, because I honestly believe Nintendo can do far better. They simply haven't. No game before or after has been able to match Ocarina of Time, and there have been some amazing games.

Let us have a look at the competition:

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Ask a Zelda fan what the best game is. If (s)he doesn't say Ocarina of Time, odds are the words out of his/her mouth will be "A Link to the Past." And this is not without good reason. One could argue that A Link to the Past is the first "modern" Zelda game, and the spiritual predecessor to Ocarina of Time. It introduced many modern Zelda concepts, like carrying things in bottles, the Master Sword, and having a plot twist after the first few dungeons. Under close examination, though, A Link to the Past just cannot stand up to Ocarina of Time.

First of all, we have gameplay. True, A Link to the Past can compete any day on items and locations, but Ocarina of Time wins the day on sidequests, puzzles and controls. Perhaps not to someone of the Super Nintendo generation, but to me, the controls of the game and combat from the 2D, top-down viewpoint feel clunky and difficult to use. Maybe I am merely unskilled, but I don't think that it should take me 15 tries to make it a quarter of the way across the field to a dungeon just because I struggle to defeat what basically are stock enemies. To me, the field in A Link to the Past is harder than the dungeons, and, in my opinion, it shouldn't be like that. Maybe this one is just my poor skills, but A Link to the Past is difficult to play in terms of combat.

Now, let us take a look at sidequests. A Link to the Past verily gave birth to the modern era of Zelda sidequests, including those in Ocarina of Time, but they are clearly not as strong in the former as in the latter. The Piece of Heart system was revolutionary, of course, and weapon upgrades were for the first time important, but compared to Ocarina of Time's Mask Salesman and Biggoron Sword sidequests, the A Link to the Past sidequests do seem to be of a different generation. Which is fine because they ARE of a different generation, but as has been used AGAINST Ocarina of Time in this thread, something being revolutionary or great for its era does not make it objectively superior. Also note that Ocarina of Time has more and probably better sidequests than the latest home console offering, Twilight Princess, so that aspect has aged well.

A quick look now at puzzles. This should be self-explanatory, but the top-down perspective does not owe itself to puzzles nearly as well as the 3D perspective, and it should be obvious to even the most casual of observers that Ocarina of Time's dungeons are more interesting and challenging than those of A Link to the Past.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

I have a great deal of respect for Wind Waker as a great game and a good Zelda game, but it had many flaws that made it impossible to match Ocarina of Time. Or even come very close.

The possibly most glaring flaw in Wind Waker, to me, is difficulty. The combat system and the dungeons are quite easy when compared to other Zelda games. The biggest factor contributing to the ease of combat was probably the "Counter" move; the ability to time a press of the A button in order to dodge an attack and simultaneously unleash a powerful counterattack. The majority of the enemies in Wind Waker could be defeated simply by timing A button presses, while in Ocarina of Time fighting enemies required a greater level of focus. The dungeons in Wind Waker also felt quite easy. The puzzles were not all that difficult, and most could be solved rather quickly by anyone who had played a Zelda game before, and with some ease by someone who hadn't. The only relatively challenging one was the Earth Temple, where the mirror puzzles provided some difficulty.

The other major problem facing Wind Waker was issues with game pacing. First of all, the game was quite lacking in dungeon quantity, as well as the quality issues explained in the preceding paragraph. With only 6 true dungeons, most of them quite simple, and all of them well in the early part of the game, Wind Waker seemed to waste all of its fuel early on, leaving little left for the rest of the game. The late part of the game was instead filled with an incredibly tedious quest to discover 8 shards of the Triforce of Courage. To do this, it was necessary to find a Triforce Chart, then pay nearly 400 rupees to get it decoded by the obnoxious character Tingle, then track down the Triforce Piece. This portion of the quest is agreed to be long, tedious, and annoying. These major pacing issues as well as difficulty problems crippled any chance Wind Waker had to best Ocarina of Time.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Twilight Princess is, while a very good game, probably the weakest of the 3D home console Zelda releases (though I have half a mind to say that is Wind Waker), and is barely a serious contender for the spot of best Zelda game.

Like Wind Waker, Twilight Princess faced many issues with difficulty. Dungeons, while not as simple as those in Wind Waker, were generally easier than those in Ocarina of Time. Enemies, as well, were far weaker, with few of them actually presenting a major threat (an exception being Darknuts, though they could be easily beaten by a semi-experienced player as well).

Twilight Princess also faced some issues with item selection. Out of all the 3D console games, it probably had the worst set of items. Though Zelda mainstays returned as good as ever, such as the bow, slingshot (with fewer applications than in Ocarina of Time), or bombs; and old items with a twist, like Double Clawshots or the Gale Boomerang; items new to the series were, while imaginative, generally underused if used much at all outside of their respective dungeons. Sure, the Dominion Rod had something of a miniquest connected to it, but it was still not used very often outside of that quest and the Temple of Time dungeon. The Ball and Chain and Spinner were also interesting ideas met with the same low amounts of use. The Horse Call was an okay replacement for Epona's Song on the Ocarina, but it came too late, after Warping made things far quicker. The only truly innovative and semi-useful new item was probably Magic Armor.

The Wolf transformation was a portion of the game that seemed somewhat half-done. It was interesting to play as a wolf for a while, but when you actually got the ability to freely transform, your human form was so far superior that it was redundant to become a wolf except for when the game demanded it. It would have made the transformation far better if there were hidden skills to be used as a wolf, too.

Although a very interesting game, Twilight Princess cannot match up to Ocarina of Time.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

Majora's Mask is, in my opinion, the second best Zelda game, behind Ocarina of Time. Majora's Mask manages to match or improve upon most of the aspects of Ocarina of Time, but fails to capture the same epic feel of free exploration and adventure.

In gameplay, it can hardly be argued against the fact that Majora's Mask was revolutionary, and also the fact that most of its most unique aspects were never replicated. It is, of course, well known that it created a 3-day time period to complete the game, but with the ability to go back in time to begin the cycle. The 3-day cycle promoted a sense of urgency not seen before in a Zelda game, a sense Ocarina of Time lacked until the very end.

In terms of items, Majora's Mask basically used the same basic items from Ocarina of Time except leaving out duplicate items (slingshot, boomerang), as well as some later game items, alternate tunics, and alternate boots. The Megaton Hammer was the only non-duplicate, non-clothing item that was left out. In lieu of tunic or boot changes to cope with different conditions, and as an addition above and beyond these, Masks were introduced on a much higher level than the small Mask Salesman sidequest in Ocarina of Time. The Masks were an interesting addition to the game that went above and beyond what Ocarina of Time did.

However, Majora's Mask, in my opinion, has a few weaknesses that cause it to fall short by a very small amount behind Ocarina of Time. First of all, Termina is in many ways inferior as an overworld to Hyrule. For starters, the world is very symmetrical and predictable--it is centered around one city, Clock Town, and is surrounded with very typical fixtures, all separating themselves out in an unnatural manner in the four directions: Swamp to the south, Mountains to the north, Ocean to the west, and Desert/Valley to the east. Unfortunately, it feels somewhat odd transversing Termina Field and being able to see the line between desert and snow. This may seem nit-picky, but it feels unnatural and detracts from the experience. The overall map design makes things feel rather unrealistic, whereas Hyrule in Ocarina of Time feels more like a real land, with no true symmetry and better spaced and placed geographical patterns. The world of Hyrule's natural feel lends itself more to the exploration factor than the symmetrical, evenly spaced world of Termina, which feels cramped by comparison. Though the overworlds are likely similar in size, the design of Hyrule in Ocarina of Time makes itself more conducive to adventure and exploration than Termina.

Another advantage Ocarina of Time has on Majora's Mask is story. Don't get me wrong, Majora's Mask had an incredible story. However, Ocarina of Time's is better by a hair, and I will explain why. The story of Majora's Mask does a very poor job of building to the climax. While Ocarina of Time starts with two kids and a plan, undergoes a plot twist in the middle, and then continues with Link awakening Sages, each one making you FEEL more close to Ganondorf, who had been the one who you were waiting to fight the whole game, then finally comes to head with the awakening of the 6th sage and Zelda's kidnapping, when Link is then given no choice but to rescue her; Majora's Mask builds some tension, then keeps it at about the same level throughout the game until it suddenly explodes upon defeating the Skull Kid atop Clock Tower, and by that point, it is basically time for the final boss. After beating Majora, I felt that the ending was not very climactic, because it seemed like just recently the pressure had been quite low as far as plot goes. It would be sort of like fighting Ganondorf after getting the third Spiritual Stone in Ocarina of Time.

The final main factor that gives Ocarina of Time an edge (and I do mean an edge, if Ocarina of Time deserves a 100%, Majora's Mask deserves a 99%) is the 3-day time cycle. Though it does an amazing job at setting a flow to the game, a flow very different from Ocarina of Time's, it does not serve it as a Zelda game. As many here know, the inspiration for The Legend of Zelda came from creator Shigeru Miyamoto's childhood exploration of the hills near his home. Therefore, it should never be forgotten that Zelda is first and foremost about exploration. Now, Ocarina of Time is a game that is very well built for exploring. It is not too large and empty like Wind Waker or Twilight Princess, but it is also not too small. The world of Ocarina of Time is one that many players do want to take some time to look around and discover everything in. However, the time limit of Majora's Mask hinders its ability to do the same. The limit creates a (false) sense of urgency that makes exploration seem less practical, and finding a way directly to the next dungeon seem more practical. In other words, the greatest and most unique feature of Majora's Mask cripples its ability to be good as a Zelda game.

Were we discussing the best game of all, not just Zelda, Majora's Mask would be involved in the 3-way toss up for me, as it is near flawless (the other two in the toss up would be Super Smash Bros. Melee and Ocarina of Time itself. However, when it comes to functioning AS A ZELDA GAME, Majora's Mask simply fails to capture the same spirit of adventure and exploration that is the essence of the Zelda series as Ocarina of Time does. And that is why Ocarina of Time is the best Zelda game.
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Piper of Time
Aug 11, 2011
The Lost Woods
For me, I don't consider it the best, but I do consider it the most revolutionary and broad. When it comes down it though, I actually like Majora's Mask's story a bit more. This isn't meant to have anything against Ganondorf, but we have a new villain in Majora's Mask. Majora, the mask itself. We had a bit of a Groundhog Day story going on with the repeating of days. Not a very large world, but a very meaty world. A world I found more meaty than Ocarina of Time. Not that Ocarina of Time didn't have any meat. Majora's Mask had characters with side stories, side stories that related to the overall plot. I like this mixture of side story and main story. It makes them feel like part of the story and not just as part of the world. I also loved the challenge of getting things done in three days. I think the entire game was well executed, and more difficult than Ocarina of Time. Which I liked more about Majora's Mask.

That said, I found the world of Hyrule to be bigger in Ocarina of Time. More dungeons, and more travelling. I however like more with what Majora's Mask did with the smaller amount of space. I liked the concept of masks that was used in Majora's Mask, it differed from the norm. Ocarina of Time however, is really a game I can pick up at anytime, and beat however. It revolutionized 3D Zelda, and that is a big reason why it's so legendary. Ocarina of Time was great, great story, great NPCs, great dungeons, great music, it was just great. It's also considered more of a classic than Majora's Mask in certain ways, because it was the first 3D Zelda. I found Majora's Mask harder though, which I like more about it.

Ocarina of Time is tied for my number 1 with Majora's Mask. However, had Majora's Mask came first, or Ocarina of Time not revolutionized 3D Zelda, I'd probably like Majora's Mask more. I also have to give props to Wind Waker, without the extremely vast Great Sea (as much as I liked sailing, I found it too big), I think it would be right up there with both of them. That one flaw puts it a smidgen below Majora's Mask and Ocarina of Time for me. So, as I said, I like Majora's Mask more for its meat, Ocarina of Time more because it's revolutionary. Then I like Wind Waker more for its music, its beautiful art style and its Medli. But yes, I think Ocarina of Time's revolutionary element of 3D and its replay ability are what makes many people consider it the best game of all time.
Mar 13, 2011
I consider it to be one of the best. I like it better than MM because it does have more dungeons. However, even though Wind Waker has less dungeons than OoT, I like the overall game play better. So Best Zelda game? No. One of the top 3 Zelda games? I would say so.

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